Monthly Archives: March 2011
There are certain words that scare people, and so they’re ‘politically incorrect.’ For example, try running for office and telling people in western culture that there might be limits to how much they can have or expect to have…! You’d never be elected!
How might we actually change our ways?
I’m not great about budgeting when it comes to money. (I do okay with other things – like time, for example.) And I think it’s fair to say that budgeting is generally viewed as a good thing – even a virtue – in our culture.
I think that we need to ‘budget’ our collective resources, world-wide. What of what we have now can we conserve, even ration, so that there is some that will still be here for future generations? Why is it a bad thing to preserve nature? Why is it bad to slow, perhaps even halt, economic growth (for the sake of the reality that the world’s resources are finite, even as we may think we can keep printing money and that we can turn everything into money)?
There’s a Cree proverb which addresses this: “Only when the last tree has died, the last river has been poisoned and the last fish has been caught, will we realize that we cannot eat money.”
In Canada, we’re now gearing up for a federal election – it’s official. How can we question candidates so that they consider future peoples beyond their term in office? (…which, with this being the fourth general election in seven years, isn’t very long these days!)
On my way home, at the end of the day, today, I saw an older gentleman standing on the side of the road (maybe 60ish) with a backpack, apparently waiting for a ride. It seemed a bit odd to me. I was driving myself home in my own car – sort of doing what many might consider “the normal thing.” …grow up, have a job, have a car, drive one’s-self wherever one wants to go – that’s “independence” and the normal thing for most adults in 21st Century North American culture.
Then I started to think… what about those other things we ‘expect’ – things like a cell phone, a short line-up at the store, a daily shower or flushing after every minor toilet use (!)…
It was World Water Day yesterday, and I was watching a few clips of Maude Barlow online. One of the statements she makes is that we have to change how we’ve viewed things until now. Water resources – like everything – are finite, and we can’t expect things to just be there for us always.
What’s wrong with the picture of the older fellow waiting for a ride? There shouldn’t be anything wrong with it. I should do my best to carpool, to have the time to wait, to not expect to drive myself everywhere. And I should be conscious of those little decisions daily that add up and, when we’re all making those choices (to drive ourselves, to run water wastefully, to have all the new gadgets…), we’re making a choice for the future. We really can’t go on like this. There are many of us on this planet, and only so many resources.
We can, collectively, choose to be less wasteful with food. We can, collectively, call on our representatives in government to pass legislation that requires corporations to be environmentally conscious. We can, collectively, as consumers, choose to consume less oil-dependent (for transportation, for manufacturing, or plastic) products.
It’s hard. We have to live differently than our parents or grand-parents did – and we tend to gravitate to what we’ve been taught by their example. But we can do it! For the sake of everyone everywhere, we must do it.
Changing what we take for granted starts with you. It starts with me.